Self-Guided & Independent Tours & Trips 2020
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Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
Rivers & Seas Visitied
Attractions & Cities Visited
Activities & Interests
Flight & Transport Inclusions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
- Indulge in tapas to your heart's content!
- Stay in paradores- unique hotels that represent Spain’s heritage, many of which originated as castles, convents and other historical buildings.
- Stroll through picturesque parks and bustling squares, and hear locals playing Spanish guitar on the streets.
- Experience the soul of Spain in the form of dance with your included flamenco show.
- Follow the footsteps of history as you explore your destination cities, each with their own vibrant past.
- Discover remnants of ancient Roman rule in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.
- In Barcelona, explore the eclectic works of Gaudí during the day, then unwind at one of the city's many beaches in the evening.
- In Granada, discover the secrets of a former sultan's palace, which sits atop a hill.
- Treat yourself to a flamenco show in Seville, the rumored birthplace of it all.
- Explore Madrid's La Latina neighborhood, known for its overabundance of tapas bars!
- Experience the Rioja wine region where you will get a real taste of the local flavor.
- Enjoy the perfect balance of guided tours and free time on your own in each city.
- See a little bit of everything: lush landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant cities.
- Discover the history and beauty that lives in Madrid from the Royal Palace to the Tapas bars!
- Visit the Marques de Riscal Winery and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, both designed by world-famous architect Frank O. Gehry.
- Fall in love with Picasso's gut-wrenching Guernica, on display in Madrid's Reina Sofia museum.
- Treat yourself to a Flamenco show in Madrid, where you'll experience firsthand the soul of Spain in the form of dance.
- Indulge in the flavors of Spain at a tapas bar or two!
- Get lost in the beauty of Spain's Architecture; you'll be mesmerized by the patterns of Cordoba's Mezquita.
- Enjoy the leisurely pace of the Spanish lifestyle, perhaps even while being serenaded by the sound of a Spanish guitar!
- Enjoy the freedom of your own car to roam far and wide.
- Stroll through the Museu Picasso in Barcelona and follow the footsteps of this iconic painter.
- Take a ride on the Montserrat Aeri cable car. See amazing views while giving your legs a break.
- When in Spain, tasting local culinary favorites is a must. Try Fideua, then indulge in the sweet dessert, Crema Catalana.
- Experience overwhelming beauty at the Jardi Botanic Marimurtra in Costa Brava.
- Get to know Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain.
- Enjoy the luxury of an all-inclusive resort, including unlimited drinks!
- Stroll the charming streets of Old Town, a UNESCO-certified site.
- Make it a beach day, everyday! Cala d'Hort beach is one of the island's finest.
- Indulge in some of Ibiza's finest cuisine, from paella to simply grilled seafood.
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Top Self-Guided & Independent Experiences
Sampling culinary delicacies in Tuscany
Ascending the terraced hillsides to reach upper Ghandruk that offers a fine view of Annapurna mountain range
Strolling through the cobblestone streets of Trinidad and enjoying the sight of colorful houses
Enjoying a self guided walking tour at your own pace
Enjoying the hospitality of a local host
Having a local guide that shows you around town
Volunteering at a rehabilitation and conservation center of wild animals
Exploring the Amazon jungles with local guides
Hitching a lift on a cargo boat to Timbuktu
Taking a train journey through Europe with suggested stops planned out by a travel expert
Learning some of the local language when staying with a family in Nepal
Self-Guided & Independent Trip Reviews
2,248 Self-Guided & Independent Tour Reviews - Summary 98% Recommend
All Self-Guided & Independent tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Self-Guided & Independent trips.